Canada’s Top CEOs Have Already Made More Money Than You Will Make All Year

A new report also found female executives make a lot less than their male counterparts.
canadian money
image via Shutterstock

For a lot of people, today is the first day back at work after the holidays and it is a struggle.

Unfortunately, the following information won’t make you feel any better: before lunchtime today, Canada’s highest paid CEOs will have already earned what the average Canadian makes in a year, according to a new report.

The report, by Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, says the 100 highest paid CEOs of publicly traded companies earned 197 times more than the average Canadian in 2017 (the most recent year where data was available), meaning that before lunch they had already made the average salary of $50,759. It says the country’s top CEOs made an average of $10 million in 2017, slightly less than $10.4 million in 2016.


“Despite what appears to be a tight labour market, markedly higher wages haven’t materialized for the average worker,” senior economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives David Macdonald said in a press release. “This report serves as a reminder that immense wealth continues to circulate through the economy—it’s just not making its way into the hands of the average worker.”

An additional report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives found that there is a significant gender pay gap amongst Canadian executives, with women making 68 cents for every dollar made by their male colleagues. That’s about $950,000 less in pay a year, the CCPA says.

The report found a number of reasons for the pay gap including women receiving lower bonuses than men, fewer women in CEO and CFO positions, and the fact that companies with more female executives tend to be smaller in size and therefore offer lower compensation.

“If executive bonus pay is really about merit, we shouldn’t see such extreme differences in bonuses between different executives at the same company. This cuts right to the heart of the meritocracy argument some use to attempt to justify outrageous CEO pay,” Macdonald said.

Follow Manisha Krishnan on Twitter.

Sign up for the VICE Canada Newsletter to get the best of VICE Canada delivered to your inbox.